Employment numbers moved upward in BLS’s June 2023 report, but at a more measured pace of 209,000 new positions according to the latest figures. (Still above the 130-150,000 estimated increase needed on a monthly basis to stay-up with growing demographics). The non-seasonally adjusted construction unemployment stands at 3.6 percent in June, consistent with strong summer seasonal work trends. [The new unemployment figure is worse by 0.1 basis points vs. May; while down 0.1 point from last year, in June 2022]. Employment in construction continued to trend up in June (+23,000). Employment in the industry has increased by an average of 15,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average of 22,000 per month in 2022. In June, employment in residential specialty trade contractors continued to trend up (+10,000).
General unemployment slipped 0.1 to 3.6 percent. (“Unemployed persons” turned down 0.1 point to 6.0 million per the government count). The “labor force participation rate” stayed at 62.6 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate “typically” works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer counted as unemployed by the DOL). The “employment to population ratio” also remained unchanged at 60.3 percent. [Both measures haven’t reached their pre-Covid levels yet; if people were actually seeking jobs, the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.0% ]. Average hourly earnings continue to increase, now standing at $28.83 for private sector production and nonsupervisory employees. SEE Workforce Statistics Chart for data.